(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
BLOOMFIELD -- The Doniphan Dons lived up to their top seed in the 49th Annual Bloomfield Christmas Tournament as they held on to defeat No. 7 Malden 55-48 on Thursday night in the championship game.
It marked Doniphan's (11-0) first Bloomfield championship since 1997.
Malden was making its first championship game appearance since 1990.
Malden hasn't won the tournament since 1988.
In other tournament games, No. 3 Twin Rivers defeated No. 4 Portageville 65
-50 for third place; No. 6 Dexter defeated No. 12 East Prairie 67-62 for fifth place; and No. 2 South Pemiscot defeated No. 5 Van Buren 61-45 in the consolation championship.
In the championship game, Doniphan and Malden played to a 16-16 first quarter tie. But the Dons took control of things with a 17-2 second quarter run to take a 33-18 halftime lead.
The Dons continued to pull away in the third quarter, taking a 45-28 lead into the fourth quarter.
But Malden (5-6) came alive in the final frame with Doniphan's 6-foot-10 center Matt Rogers sitting out with a twisted ankle at the end of the third.
The Green Wave eventually cut the lead to one point in the final two minutes but the Dons were able to hold on down the stretch.
Doniphan was led by Charles Wilson's 14 points. Rogers had 13 points and
Adam Carpenter added 11 points.
Malden was led by 6-foot-5 junior Robbie Ison's 19 points. Alonzo Louis added 13 points.
Rogers along with twin brothers Charles and Chandler Wilson each made the all-tournament. Louis and Quentin Franks made the team for Malden.
The Portageville Bulldogs had no answer for Twin Rivers' one-two punch of Michael Lance and Kade McBroom, who combined for 48 points in the victory.
McBroom scored all 24 of his points on eight 3-pointers. He connected on nine 3-pointers in the first round of the tournament.
Lance did most of his damage in the second and third quarters, scoring 21 of his 24 in the periods.
"They've got a great combination and then they can go inside with the big kids inside," said Portageville coach Jim Bidewell. "They've got a good package. Their kids seem focused on winning and they want to win. You can't teach desire and once our kids get that, we'll be a better ballclub."
Twin Rivers (9-2) never trailed in the game as they jumped out to a 20-15 first quarter lead and a 36-27 halftime lead.
They extended the lead to 52-38 heading into the fourth quarter.
Portageville (4-5) continued its recent shooting struggles in the game.
"That's a sign of being out of shape," said Bidewell. "They were in better shape than we were. They deserve it. We really haven't practiced with a vision and we haven't practiced with a focus on getting better. We're hoping our kids will come back after the break and get a different look on where they want to go this season. We have some kids that could give us more than what they're giving us. Even though we don't have the talent that we've had in the past, we can still be a better ballclub than what we're showing."
Portageville was led by Cory Chamberlain's 17 points. Trey Mosby followed up with eight points.
Mosby was named to the all-tournament team. Lance and McBroom were also honored.
The feisty Eagles gave perennial tournament power Dexter all they wanted but they couldn't overcome foul problems and a lack of depth.
"We got some key kids in foul trouble," said East Prairie coach Jason Irby. "At the end we had a couple key turnovers and a couple key shots that we missed that made the difference. Our kids played super hard all tournament long. I couldn't be any prouder of them. They showed some character and battled back every game."
East Prairie (4-7) led 18-17 after one quarter and eventually led 26-21 in the second quarter.
But point guard Dez Johnson and forward Tony Jones each had to go to the bench with foul trouble, giving Dexter a window of opportunity.
The Bearcats (3-7) took full advantage as they finished the quarter on an 18
-7 run to take a 39-33 halftime lead.
East Prairie managed to cut the gap to 55-51 after Johnson banked in a 3-
pointer at the third quarter buzzer, his third buzzer-beating trey of the tournament.
The Eagles continued their surge in the fourth quarter, forcing a 59-59 tie with 2:11 left in the game. But Johnson fouled out with 1:08 remaining.
The Eagles couldn't score again until Randy Woods drilled a 3-pointer with nine seconds left to give the team one last chance, trailing 64-62.
Dexter sealed the game when Eric Rinehart streaked down the floor for a conventional 3-point play with five seconds left.
"East Prairie's not going to quit," said Dexter coach Eric Sitze. "They've shown that all week. They've upset two teams this week. They were down double digits against Kennett and came back to win."
East Prairie was led by Mitchell Winchester's 14 points. Caleb Hatton and Johnson each had 11 points. Woods and Jones each had 10 points.
Johnson was named to the all-tournament team.
It was an impressive tournament showing for an East Prairie team that hasn't enjoyed much success in the Bloomfield Tournament for many years.
"I think our team is starting to come together," said Irby. "We had some moments in this tournament where we were down so much. Our kids fought through it and got a couple big wins. I think our kids are starting to come together and play together as a unit. We had some many kids come off the football field that it took them a while to gel together. Hopefully our kids will use this as a springboard for some better things."
For Dexter, it wasn't pretty, but the Bearcats collected three wins in the tournament after entering it with an 0-6 record.
"We got a lot of younger kids playing time in close games and close situations," said Sitze. "I think we improved some this week. Probably more offensively than defensively. It was a good four-game experience for us this week."
Rinehart led Dexter with 21 points. David Hessling added 10 points. Rinehart was named to the all-tournament team.
After starting the tournament in the worst way, losing to the 15th seed, South Pemiscot rallied to capture the consolation
The Bulldogs (10-2) had their way with Van Buren as they led just 29-25 at halftime, but put the game away with a 19-5 run in the third to take a 48-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
South Pemiscot was led by all-tournament performer Anthony Jones' 18 points. Alonzo Jones had 15 points and Felix Spates added 14 points.
Van Buren's (9-2) Jon Bourque led his team with 24 points, including six 3-
pointers. Dustin Tucker added 12 points. Bourque was named to the all-